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Tuition and Fee Prices at Independent Colleges Expected to Rise 4.3 Percent in 2009-10

July 13, 2009

Average tuition and fee prices at four-year private, non-profit colleges and universities will increase by an average of 4.3 percent in the upcoming 2009-10 academic year, according to the final results of a membership survey conducted by the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). The average rate of increase in tuition and fee prices is slightly higher than the current rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (3.8 percent).

The tuition and fee price rise would be the lowest recorded by the NAICU survey since 1972-73. Last year, according to the College Board's most recent "Trends in College Prices" report, tuition prices at four-year private non-profit institutions rose 5.9 percent, and have averaged a 5.5 percent annual increase over the past ten years. The 4.3 percent gain would raise the average tuition price for full-time, full-year undergraduates by $1,081--to $26,224, based on the College Board's figures.

Many students will pay much less than the average tuition and fee charge. On average, independent institutions will raise their institutional aid budgets by 9 percent in 2009-10. Overall, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 66 percent of full-time undergraduates attending independent colleges and universities receive institutional grant aid, and the average amount ($10,420) covers about 40 percent of the listed tuition and fee price.

NAICU's estimates are based on survey responses from 350 private, nonprofit colleges and universities. More information about the survey is posted on NAICU's Web site.

NACUBO Contact
Ken Redd
Director, Research and Policy Analysis